A severe injury or devastating medical diagnosis could mean the end of your career. It may also mean that you don’t know how you will pay your bills next month. Federal disability benefits exist, in part, to ensure that working adults won’t face abject poverty due to a serious medical issue.
Applying for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits allows those who aren’t yet old enough to retire an opportunity to support themselves when they can’t work anymore. Every worker pays into the system through tax withholdings from their paychecks. Generally, workers with at least 10 years of work history (less, for younger workers) can qualify for SSDI with a serious medical condition.
Unfortunately, getting SSDI benefits isn’t always easy. Many qualified candidates get denied benefits and have to appeal that decision. Waiting for an appeal could mean several additional months with no income. How long might you have to wait for a hearing?
Different offices have different average wait times
The Social Security Administration (SSA) tracks the average wait time for a hearing in front of an administrative law judge when someone appeals a benefits decision. Different facilities have different average wait times.
The average wait time at the Kansas City facility is nine months. It’s only eight months at the Springfield office. The average applicant waits 10 months for a hearing through the Columbia office, and those applying through the St. Louis office can expect an eight-and-a-half months wait time.
As frustrating as the wait can be, a successful appeal could even result in backdated benefits to the date of your initial application. Learning more about the process of getting SSDI benefits can empower you as an applicant.